Vintage car or automobile mascots, also called hood ornaments, are a fascinating piece of automotive history. Except for the Mercedes emblem atop the S-Class Mercedes-Benz or Spirit of Ecstasy which raises and lowers at the push of a button on the modern Rolls-Royce, these brand distinctive or once highly personalized symbols mounted atop the hood of the car are for the most part a relic of automotive history. Over the year’s we’ve taken hundreds of photos of unique and stylish hood ornaments so I thought it was time for a post on these miniature automotive sculptures. Early mascots were more purposeful than designed to reflect a car logo or automotive symbol, this was left to the badge.
Car mascots are a serious business. There are hundreds of people throughout the world who are very passionate about this segment of automobilia. Believe it or not but there are even mascot collector clubs! Some are inherently aerodynamic. In the 1930’s and 40’s this was due to the streamlined style currently in vogue. Others care nothing for eliminating drag and reflect purely on the whim of the owner. Bonham’s, Heritage Auctions and other auction houses can have pages of automobile mascots in their auction catalogues; like cars, mascots can achieve some staggering prices. Super rare models, such as those made by Rene Lalique, or the rare elephant from the Bugatti Royale can be a nice investment. Regardless of the collectable value, automobile mascots are an engaging art form from our automotive history. Fun to look at, fun to collect, and simple to appreciate.